Statement read by Francis Sullivan, CEO, Truth Justice and Healing Council on 6 February 2017
Commissioners I make this statement on behalf of the Truth Justice and Healing Council.
When the Truth Justice and Healing Council made its first major submission to this Royal Commission in 2013 it included a nine-point Commitment Statement by the Catholic Church leadership.
This in part said the leaders of the Church in Australia committed themselves to repairing the wrongs of the past, to listening to and hearing survivors, to putting their needs first and to doing everything the Church can to ensure a safer future for children.
Over the past four years, as the Church has been through what many would say has been the most intense and unforgiving examination of almost all aspects of its operations in Australia, the Council has worked hard to hold the Church leadership accountable to these words.
But more than that – to put these words into action.
And having been involved with this Commission from the word go I have seen the Church leadership rise to this challenge. Continue reading
Fr Hans Zollner SJ. Photo credit news.va
On 28 July, Fr Hans Zollner SJ will lead a day of reflection for bishops and leaders of religious institutes across Australia about dealing with abuse.
Fr Hans is President of the Centre for Child Protection at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
The National Committee for Professional Standards will host the day of reflection in Sydney entitled: Dealing with abuse: Theological and Spiritual Reflection with an international perspective.
Fr Hans lectures at the Gregorian Institute in Rome and is also a member of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. He is visiting Australia for a short time in late July 2016.
The day will focus on exploring the personal and communal impact of child sexual abuse. There will be an opportunity to reflect on how we live spiritually and theologically in this time and to ask where God is calling us through this challenge. There may be an opportunity to share the experiences and lessons learnt from those in similar circumstances in other parts of the world.
The National Committee for Professional Standards is seeking to provide an important opportunity for our bishops and religious leaders to share and explore their own experience of dealing with abuse during this challenging time for the Church internationally.
Further details are available from: email@example.com or (02) 9669 6218.
On Friday 3 June, the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart, a Liturgy of Lament and Hope to acknowledge publicly the pain and suffering of those who have been wounded by abuse in the Catholic Church, was held in the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary, Waitara.
Bishop Peter Comensoli, Bishop of Broken Bay, called upon his brother priests and the Diocesan faith community to join him for this sacred event, with more than 200 braving the wild Sydney weather to come together in prayer.
Opportunities for expressing lament such as this are important – a time at which people can give voice and shape to shared feelings of sadness, regret, and solidarity for what has occurred in our communities, and a time for the Diocese as a family to pray for those who have been wounded and turn towards the Lord with hope for healing. Continue reading